He cannot be contained


2 Chronicles 6:18–19 (ESV): 18 “But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built! 19 Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you,


Solomon was dedicating the Temple to God. He prayed to God, speaking of God’s majesty and love, and God’s wonderful promise to his father, David, about an unending kingdom if David and his descendants walked in God’s law.

But in this text, Solomon noted that while he had built a house for God’s name, as God had promised David would happen, God could not be contained in a building made by human hands.

Yet Solomon continued to pray that God would regard this place as special, and that whenever God’s people prayed in this place, God would hear and answer their prayers.

In the next chapter we find God’s wonderful response, especially the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14… “if my people, which are called by my name… .”


Our perception of God should grapple with both his transcendence – his majesty that is so beyond us that we cannot truly understand who he is – as well as his immanence – his desire to be with us, ultimately resulting in the incarnation of Christ.

We must recognize his holiness – purity, love, faithfulness and more – and his grace – his willingness to extend mercy and forgiveness for all who trust in him.


Heavenly Father, help me always to approach you with reverence and awe, but may I also always know your lovingkindness and willingness to be with humanity. Amen.

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